The Journey to Becoming DEI-Driven

By Stephen Minix

A few years back I transitioned from my role leading athletics and after school programs for Green Dot Public Schools to help build what is now UpMetrics.  You know, the ol’ PE teacher goes and helps build an impact tech company story… :) I laugh even typing that, but it’s real!  

 

Now, well into the UpMetrics journey we consistently are focusing on improving our work and tending to the culture and vibe of this company while growing our client base and partnerships.  It’s been a whirlwind.  Check that—a legit, fun, inspiring, umm…whirlwind!

 

As we grow our company it is essential that we grow in all areas.  Going from a team of 4 to 10 to now 30+, we must reflect on how we got here.  Our values will always be our compass, but the terrain we are navigating now is not the same as the ground we covered years ago.   We must continue to grow, learn, reflect and adapt.  

 

Our collective team identified an area of growth for UpMetrics: We need to be better relative to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  I know it.  We know it.  Our clients and prospective clients know it.  However, our driver is about building the company the right way.  We want to turn our commitment into action and make intentional efforts to prioritize and incorporate DEI in all that we do!  We cannot change what we don’t measure, and we need data to guide us in how we actively support and promote DEI.

 

Like many acronyms that we see in education, nonprofit work, etc., DEI caught me by surprise.  I mean, I’m a black man in America and have spent most of my professional life in education/nonprofit work.  I never needed a dashboard to tell me how I felt or to illuminate the obvious.  However, when we started really diving into this work at UpMetrics, I was floored at some of the information we started to learn.  And that is what this is all about!  Learning, evolving and doing better.  Now replete with data, we have the means to conduct DEI conversations and greater awareness and action!! 

 

Our journey so far has been great!  Luckily, we know an amazing tech for good company that helps DeCAL:  Define, Collect, Analyze and Leverage data to help us dive in with precision!  Earlier this year, we launched our DEI committee, led by my colleague and our People Ops manager, PoLin, with an initial focus on defining what diversity, equity and inclusion looked like at UpMetrics and, more importantly, what it should look like!  Over the first part of the year we conducted our first ever DEI workplace survey and began to formalize our DEI strategy. Now resourced with dashboards focused on our employee demographics, overall employee sentiment and perceptions of DEI through our first ever DEI workplace survey, and UpMetrics candidate demographics, we have become more transparent and collaborative in our efforts to continue to learn and grow.  It’s a process, people!!!! 

 

The graphic below highlights how we are organizing this essential work:

Screen Shot 2022-08-25 at 5.30.08 PM

It isn’t about dashboards as a scoreboard to check the damn box, however!  DEI work isn’t destination work, it is perpetual journey work.  There is no finish line.  We must live it so!  This is why we have built dashboards that we will regularly update and review as a company.  This is not a one-time survey or report — this is culture work that is ever evolving as the people on our team and in our community continue to change and grow. 

 

As I’ve now shifted my role at UpMetrics to Sr. Director of Community Strategy I look to continue learning from our clients, collaborators and communities.  Others have leaned into this deep work and learning from them as we continue to build our company the right way is essential.  I will continue updating y’all on our efforts, glows and grows.  We are big fans of keeping receipts and holding ourselves accountable so along the way if y’all have some guidance, feedback or brainfood please help your boy out! 

 


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